The Pew Research Center reports 64 percent of Americans have been victims of at least one data breach.
A data breach occurs when personal or financial information is unlawfully viewed, stolen or used. Exposure can stem from malicious sources, like hacking and theft, or can be seemingly innocent in nature, such as an employee improperly disposing of sensitive files.
No matter the cause, these records are valuable to identity thieves. Thieves use this data to impersonate victims’ identities for personal, financial, medical or legal purposes. And they’re willing to take drastic measures to get their hands on them.
With more than 36 million sensitive records leaked in 2016 (that’s a new file every second) your account holders face increased identity theft and fraud risks as their personal information falls out of their control.
In fact, Javelin Strategy & Research found that one in five data breach victims ultimately suffered an identity crime.
Analyzing the Standard Response: Credit Monitoring
Once breached, companies are quick to offer free identity protection services to victims. However, these services are primarily compromised of credit monitoring and fail to address the broad spectrum of identity crimes consumers face post-breach.
Credit monitoring is a “rearview” approach to identity protection — it is only effective once a crime has taken place. A “windshield” approach is one that proactively safeguards personal information and empowers account holders to stop fraud before it starts. Dark web monitoring, consumer education and secure online data storage are among such pre-emptive tactics.
A “windshield” approach also accounts for the many threats to an account holders good name — including payments fraud, payday loan fraud, criminal identity theft and more. None of which can be detected by credit monitoring alone.
What’s the result of this reactive rather than proactive post-breach approach?
Subscribers are left uninformed, confused and feel continually vulnerable — especially once their complimentary protection period ends.
10 Keys to Truly Comprehensive Identity Protection
Credit monitoring is important, but it shouldn’t be a stand-alone source of identity protection. A truly comprehensive identity protection product takes a multi-layer approach to the problem.
- Encrypted online storage of personal, financial, medical information as well as passwords, licenses and government documents.
- Expert education and timely news to keep account holders on the defensive when it comes to the latest scams and security concerns.
- Online and mobile access for complete control of their identity, even when on-the-go. These resources should include timely alerts and notifications as well as a streamlined user experience.
- Credit monitoring to alert account holders to new credit inquiries, delinquencies, judgments and liens, bankruptcies and more in their name.
- Payday loans monitoring to check for short-term, high-interest payday loan activity that generally don’t require a credit inquiry with the three major bureaus.
- Dark web monitoring scans hundreds of thousands of black market sites, forums and chat rooms for signs an individual’s information is being illegally sold/traded.
- USPS monitoring to ensure mail is not being discretely forwarded to another address to facilitate or conceal identity theft.
- Fully-managed restoration that uses a limited power of attorney so resolution experts can act on the victim’s behalf to streamline the resolution process.
- Targeted processes such as EZShield’s End2End Defense® 32-step restoration process that is designed to discover, isolate and prevent future fraud.
- Family restoration services to safeguard everyone that was exposed, especially children who are prime targets for identity thieves due to their inactive credit history.
How Financial Institutions Can Pick Up the Slack (And Profit)
Consumers want to feel empowered following a breach, not left with fear. They want this comprehensive approach to identity protection and often look to their financial institutions for additional assistance.
Javelin Strategy & Research reports that 48 percent of consumers see themselves as the primary protector of their identity and 42 percent see their financial institution as the second most responsible for preventing identity crimes.
This sense of personal responsibility shows a willingness to be actively involved in their identity protection. Account holders want an empowering protection experience, one that puts them in control even after a data breach. They often look to their financial institution for further assistance — typically in the form of comprehensive tools and identity protection programs.
Identity protection services offered through banks and credit unions have shown tremendous popularity in recent years. Financial institutions currently hold the highest subscriber retention rate — out-performing direct-to-consumer and complimentary post-breach identity protection.
The reason for this success? These services often take a “windshield approach” to empower account holders to feel in-control of their identity, even after a data breach. This full suite of services also acts as an extension of the financial institution — allowing account holder loyalty to strengthen while adding revenue.
Learn more about how identity protection can help your financial institution reach its goals, schedule a demo of EZShield Identity Protection today.